I'd like to create Smart Folders in the Finder favorite bars that I can access from different applications. Those Smart Folders will mostly contain regular folders of current projects I'm working on.

The regular folders show up correctly in the Finder Favorites sidebar, and if using an application (say, Keynote), in the Save dialog. However if I want to open a keynote file that is located in

/Smart Folder/RegularFolder

/RegularFolder does not show up in the Smart Folder when accessed through the Open File dialog.

The same thing occurs if I tag a folder and then try to navigate to that folder from the open file dialog to the Tags sidebar.

Is this the expected behavior? Am I missing something?

  • FWIW I have no problem opening a file from any application using File > Open > and navigating any Smart Folder under FAVORITES on the Sidebar in Finder, and no issue with Keynote opening a file from that path. If I found myself in your situation, I'd start by rebuilding the Spotlight database of the Macintosh HD. Have a look at: How to rebuild the Spotlight index on your Mac Aug 18, 2017 at 15:37
  • Thanks. Just to be clear, the issue I'm having is not files in the smart folder, but folders that should show up in the smart folder disappearing from it.
    – Carlos
    Aug 18, 2017 at 17:24
  • I understand that and that doesn't change my suggestion because I see folders too, that's how I got to the files. Have you tried reindexing Spotlight? Aug 18, 2017 at 18:09
  • Interesting... I don't, even after rebuilding the spotlight index as you suggest. If I click on the smart folder (or one of the tags in the sidebar), the folders briefly flash and then disappear.
    – Carlos
    Aug 18, 2017 at 18:47
  • I forgot to add: I see the same thing in multiple computers (laptop/iMac) using the same iCloud account (so tags have being synced).
    – Carlos
    Aug 18, 2017 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


This is indeed the expected behavior, as explained in this article by Howard Oakley. The article deals with tagged folders, but the behavior also applies to Smart Folders.

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